A message from the new ERS President, Dr Mina Gaga

“I am delighted to have begun my role as the ERS President 2017-2018 following what was great year and an excellent ERS International Congress in Milan, led by my predecessor in the ERS Presidency Professor Guy Joos and also Congress Chairs Professors Francesco Blasi and Stefano Centanni.

"I would like to begin by expressing my thanks to everyone involved in the Congress; whether you were a member, officer, delegate, participant, patient or ERS staff, it was truly a success because of your commitment, enthusiasm and collective contributions!

"The ERS President role is one that I am honoured to fulfil; I am extremely enthusiastic about ERS and the great accomplishments it achieves in the field of respiratory medicine year by year – over the core areas of research, education and advocacy.

"I believe that our Society does a number of things very well; it enables collaboration and the sharing of knowledge; it provides education, research opportunities, networking and career development to our members; it supports early career members as the leaders of the future and offers them funding opportunities; and it consults with and gives a voice to our patients. And it is ready to adapt to new needs and changes in our Society and our environment. Over the next 12 months, we will work on our strategy for the next five years, meeting these changes and new needs. Working together with our assemblies, our partners and our patients, and helped and supported by our office, we will design how the ERS moves forward from here.

"It is very important that we listen to our members' needs and to ask the question ‘Where would you like to see our society in five years’ time?’ As a member-driven society, it is your ideas that will guide our future plans to ensure that ERS provides the most relevant opportunities and support.

"I would like to take the opportunity to reach out to all members to encourage you to consider more active or official roles within ERS. I would particularly like to encourage participation from those that are often under represented, such as women and younger members.

"I look forward to sharing news of ERS developments with you all over the next 12 months – and, as an elected President, I thank everyone who made this experience possible for me – I am very much looking forward to it."